San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Drop in Coffee Prices Worries Producers

IN the past four months, the price ofcoffee has dropped by $36.55 on the NewYork Stock Exchange – a fact that concernsCosta Rica’s many producers.While coffee prices reached $135 per46-kilogram sack on the stock marketMarch 15, they gradually dropped untilreaching $98.45 last week, the daily LaNación reported.The drop worries Costa Rican producersbecause approximately 60% ofthe national harvest is sold at rates similarto the stock market’s, while the restof the grain is sold at prices as much as50% higher because producers export itto high-quality markets in various countries,according to the daily.Xinia Chaves, president of Coopepalmares,a Costa Rican coffee cooperative,told La Nación the market’s behavioris worrisome because there is less demandfor coffee in consumer countries duringthe summer.Also, the importance of the UnitedStates as a market for Costa Ricanexports has increased in recent months,she said.A bumper Brazilian harvest of 45 million60-kilogram sacks of coffee contributedto the decrease, the daily reported.According to Chaves, coffee prices mayrise again by September, but if they do not,the situation will become critical.

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